JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of Jacksonville’s largest downtown riverfront hotels is booked solid for at least the next five months.
News4Jax first learned about the entire Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel being booked from athletes who had reservations there for the Gate River Run in March. They said they were told they were being relocated to another hotel because one group rented out the entire property. News4Jax has confirmed from multiple sources that the group is the United States Marines Corps.
On Tuesday, recruits could be seen being dropped off with backpacks and being escorted into the 966-room hotel, where News4Jax has learned they will stay for at least 14 days.
Multiple sources confirmed to News4Jax that the Hyatt Regency is the U.S. Marines’ contract hotel for the region, saying the Marine Corps recruits are quarantining for two weeks in the hotel before being sent off to Parris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp. The hotel, according to sources, is also being used as a military processing station where future Marines go to get sworn in, tested, medically checked and screened.
News4Jax also spotted military personnel in full fatigues in the lobby of the hotel. Outside, there were cars with license plates from various states across the country, including a vehicle with a U.S. Marines license plate that was parked directly out front.
“That’s great because, if we are considered a city with two military bases, we should have a lot of military to move around for security reasons,” said local cyclist Eugenio Maslowski. “I feel it’s normal.”
If you are trying to book a hotel room for the spring or early summer, you are going to be out of luck at the Hyatt Regency. The first available date for occupancy is July 26, according to a hotel reservation operator.